The Final Countdown

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of taking part in the conspiracy that was a surprise baby shower for my wife, Amy – marking shower #3  (the first was in Nashville with our friends there and the second was with my family in NJ since my grandmother can’t travel much these days), as Amy’s family, friends, and coworkers bestowed baby-related blessings upon the mommy-to-be.

Amy’s due Oct. 4, but everyone makes it a point to draw attention to just how pronounced her “baby bump” has gotten. She had a check-up Monday morning of this week (the day after the shower) with a new doctor who gave her an update on how things are going. When she told the doctor that she’d be seeing him next Tuesday, he commented that it probably would be sooner than that…. meaning that little William is looking to make his debut potentially as early as a month ahead of schedule. The little guy’s dad (that’s me, for those of you getting lost here) was also considerably earlier than intended when he was a newborn, so if Will decides to make a September debut… well… like father, like son! (that is, he’d be early. I wasn’t born in September…)

As we get down to the wire, the tyke’s bedroom is getting further primed and ready. As mentioned in previous blogs, his room was originally our “spare room” which had become home to concert photos I’ve taken and a few music-related posters. So where a huge, autographed Audio Adrenaline poster (from 1994) once hung, now displays an arch-shaped myriad of Toy Story wall decals (disguising the framed poster’s nail hole and scratch marks)… further cementing the boy’s room as his. It’s coming along quite nicely… and, if things continue the way they’re going… he’s likely to be napping in there in either a few weeks… or a few days!

Stay tuned…

Cribs and Hospital Beds

The world of the pregnant woman is an ever-interesting world to be a part of. This past week, my parents had plans to come over and assist in assembling a brand new crib for our forthcoming bouncing baby boy.

They arrived on time that evening, pizza in hand, about half an hour after Amy should have arrived home from work… but she wasn’t home yet. As we sat down to dinner without her (afterall, “the pizza’s getting cold!”), I assumed she just got held up at work and that I might receive a text message from her at any minute informing me of her late dismissal from work.

Suddenly, with a mouth full of delicious dough, tomato sauce and melting cheese, I looked down at my cell as it buzzes with a greeting that let’s me know it’s most likely my wife. She offers an innocent and unsuspecting greeting, and I reply with a similar one and go back to my delightful dinner. The next buzz from the phone was a photo…. of her in a hospital bed. I look a the image… enlarge it… sit back… and show the picture to my parents. They gasp and immediately start asking me questions… as if I had all the answers from the moment I looked at the ambiguous and haunting image.

To make a long and arduous story short, Amy – who is an OR nurse – had been getting a lot of contractions lately, still two months shy of her due date and ended up being admitted to the hospital (where she works) to be monitored closely. We went ahead with tearing apart the gigantic cardboard boxes and assembling little William’s crib, while Amy texted with us back and forth before she drifted off to sleep. Thankfully, both her and the baby are fine and she came home the next afternoon, but it was quite the scare for us (despite, quite honestly and somewhat oddly, me having a strange peace about it all?).

This week will be another ultrasound check-up (just a scheduled one), as we continue to wait to fill the little munchkin’s nursery… with his little, noisy, stinky self. ;)

April Showers Bring May Ponderings

It’s been awhile since I last blogged. Since then, I’ve transitioned over into a new decade of age (yep, I turned 30 last week! ugh!), we had our first baby shower with friends of ours in Nashville while we were visiting, and Amy just keeps getting… bigger.

I’m finding that this period of time between “Hey! You’re gonna be a Dad!” and the inevitable moment where that actually comes to pass is feeling rather long. It gives us time to prepare – mentally, etc – but I’m realizing this might be one of those situations for me that might be better to just dive into. See, while it’s nice to have some time to enjoy my wife’s and my last few months of just us for many years ahead, it’s tough to truly make the best of that time when she’s nauseous daily because of the pregnancy… and nearly everyone and everything around us tend to enjoy reminding us of the pending parenthood. It’s safe to say we haven’t forgotten – and won’t! – but it would be nice to be able to kind of savor our last few months of non-parenthood as a married couple. But hey, this is coming from a guy who isn’t baby crazy first and foremost like many folks are. And there’s nothing wrong with being baby crazy – it’s only natural, however, I don’t believe it’s wrong to want to savor your last few months of baby-free time with your spouse either!

And it becomes increasingly difficult to forget parenthood looms as the little Mrs continues to “fill out,” so to speak. But it is exciting to know that in just two weeks we’ll find out the gender of our little one… I think they’ve got it narrowed down to “boy” or “girl”… we just don’t know which one yet ;o)

But rest assured that we’ll make that announcement here as soon as we know!

Until then… here’s to endless thinking on how much life is about to change!!

Pregnancy and the Electric Slide

Yesterday, my husband John and I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a close friend of ours in Philadelphia.  There were very few people who we actually knew at the festivities, but thankfully, we were reunited with two good friends who we had lost touch with over the years.  Both individuals were extremely glad to see us there, because they, too, were feeling doubtful that anyone who they knew would be in attendance at the reception.  It worked out beautifully that we could all sit together at a reception table, since there was open seating.  Since we had not spoken to these two ladies in quite some time, we obviously had some exciting news to share about our little Jesus freak on-the-way. 

John and I are finally feeling more comfortable about talking with our friends about our newest addition to the DiBiase family, now that I am at least three months into the pregnancy and we have had reassuring ultrasounds showing our little person growing nicely in the little shelter of my tummy.  So, it only seemed natural to me to mention our new LittleJesusFreaks.com site as an intro to discussing the subject of our pregnancy.  It became a very comfortable way to introduce the idea of us expecting a baby some time in October, because for whatever reason, some times I think it is difficult to come right out and say it.  Although the congratulations and excitement of our friends almost always follows, there are some occasions when people don’t respond in such a positive way to what may seem to be ecstatic news.  Trying to be sensitive to why some people may respond in this way, is I think the very reason that it can sometimes be awkward to bring up in conversation.   

However, John was the first one to bring it to my attention yesterday, that he couldn’t help but notice several pregnant young women at the wedding reception who were farther along in their baby’s gestation than me.  It was also around this time of the night, when the general dancing for the wedding reception guests opened up with the crowd pleaser of the “Electric Slide.”  I didn’t realize then that this would become a comical topic for a blog, but one of my observations during the song really made an impression on me that I felt would be worth sharing.  Out of the corner of my eye, I couldn’t help but notice one friend of the bride’s attempting to join the fun on the dance floor to the all-too familiar “Electric Slide.”  What really held my attention, however, was the fact that this young woman looked to be rather far along in her pregnancy, probably at the later end of her second trimester.  I think this was when I became in awe of the beautiful design that God must have in mind for woman who become with-child.  It is a completely natural transition that temporarily borrows the body of a willing and able young woman, to allow her body to be the dwelling place of a new little person until he or she is ready to enter the world.  Although the woman’s body does take on rather odd shapes to accommodate this temporary inhabitant, it is all made possible by the amazing design that God has created for His children.  So, the biggest impression that this moment made on me, was that the role of being a pregnant mother should not in any way be made to feel like punishment or like some kind of disqualification from a normal life. 

Although I might have felt a bit hesitant to get out and go crazy on the dance floor last night, I was so pleased that one pregnant mother was determined to have a good time despite her changing body and somewhat awkward appearance compared to everyone else who was out cutting a rug to the “Electric Slide.”  It was very encouraging for me to see that even pregnant women can have fun at wedding receptions, and that it would probably be helpful for me to loosen up a little bit in the future the next time I might have the opportunity to have some fun dancing.  Unfortunately, as I continue to struggle with morning sickness on literally a daily basis, I was trying sincerely hard to keep my lovely dinner down at the time that the “Electric Slide” began to play.  I was very thankful, though, that God provided an outlet for me to observe the joys of another pregnant mother who was obviously well beyond the difficulties of morning sickness, which for me happens at all different times of the day … not just the morning.  Hopefully soon, I will be able to feel better as my little Jesus freak continues to grow, and the next time the “Electric Slide” is played in my ear shot, you can better believe I will be attempting my best version of the line dance that I have come to love over the years!

The Strap-On Black Pillow

One of the scariest parts of coming to the realization that I am actually “with-child” … is how my once ballet-physique is beginning to dramatically change.  Okay, so the truth is, it has been quite some time since I sported a ballet costume and wore my toe-shoes … but I do like to think of those days as when my physical appearance was at its peak.  Now, as I slowly approach 30 (coming up in June), and I am finally in my third month of pregnancy … the reality of having to acquire some maternity clothes is becoming a necessity.  With the exception of a quick 10 minutes run into Old Navy a few weeks ago, when I bought my first official pair of maternity jeans (which I later found out were way too big for me) and a pretty floral colored blouse that I can picture wearing in the hot summer months of being pregnant – I was truly putting off going shopping for maternity clothes as long as I could.  And to be honest, I only went into Old Navy that night, because I was in a bit of a panic if you will – that I could no longer find any pants in my closet that would contain my little bump.  The true moment of the Old Navy run, as I like to call it – was when I was at the check-out counter upon realizing that I had left my wallet out in the car.  I wish to think of this moment as one of my first truly absent-minded pregnancy moves, which just left the lady behind the counter laughing at me with an understanding grin.  Call it denial, or being stubborn – two characteristics of being with-child that will both be defeated as I watch in person how God designed a mommy-to-be’s body to shelter another human being … I thought I would be able to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes much longer into my pregnancy.  Confronting the truth about the matter, led me to search out a destination for some new threads that would be able to contain my tummy while not breaking the bank.  Fortunately, I had the blessing of one of my good friends who actually was the one that found the Motherhood Maternity store in the mall, while I had my back turned to it, while I was devouring a quick craving for some Auntie Anne’s pretzels!  So, thankfully, my friend Rebekah was the one to lead us into the store.  I immediately felt this surreal sense of unbelief as we entered the store … almost as if it was a dream.  And then, out of the corner of my eye … I saw them for the first time, as I walked by the dressing rooms.  It was almost as if my dream had turned into a nightmare, when I saw these black pillows hanging on the walls of each dressing room – with a black Velcro strap dangling from the pillow.  I later found out by the polite store attendant, that the strap-on black pillows serve the purpose of allowing women trying on clothing now to estimate how the clothes will look in the future.  The attendant explained that the pillows are meant to add about 3 months to any current tummy size.  I guess that made sense, when I realized that whatever clothing you might buy today, will have to be able to stretch and withstand the expansion of your tummy in the coming months.  I just never knew that these maternity stores had such creative gadgets – that are practically kept secret from the rest of the naive world.  In a way, I wish I could have been prepared for what I was about to experience – but alas, then I would not have experienced the horror of strapping on that black pillow with one of my new maternity shirts and seeing the shock of my friend’s face when I came out of the dressing room.  As I kept finding some very reasonable prices for some nicely designed shirts … one by one I would strap on the black pillow, to make sure they would still work for me in the coming months.  It almost became kind of a contest, to see which clothes were really made to stretch, and which ones would not allow for the future expansion.  While I checked out my purchases at the end of the shopping spree … I heard this little voice in the back of my head.  It was almost as if I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of my new maternity threads have been strap-on black pillow tested … and mother approved!  (as I hear the echo of a Kix cereal commercial in my head)  It was also a fun outing for my friend Becky and I to experience together, because it saved John from having to wait through me trying clothes on – which he claims I do painfully slow.  John did make an appearance in the store, however, right before I purchased my items.  I did spare him the experience of watching me strap on the black pillow.  My rationale was, I think it will be much easier for him to watch my body slowly change on a daily basis – instead of blowing up like a balloon in 1 minute with the help of a pillow, which would be sure to cause a panic attack for John.  If there it one thing that I hope to prevent for John during this whole experience that we are having together, it is to limit as much panic as possible.  I think that is a very reasonable goal to have, and I know in the end, he will hopefully appreciate my thoughtfulness.  ;o)

Great-Grammy Pauline

Today, will be quite an exciting day I think … not just to be able to get together with my parents, brother, John, and my grandmother Pauline – but to be able to share the surprising news with my Grammy that she is going to be a great-grammy!!!  Honestly, this will not be the first time that my Grammy is going to be able to have this honor … but it is definitely going to be a surprise to her that a new baby will be coming from John and myself.  With my Grammy being 80 years old now, I can only imagine that these little shocks in life must come with such elation and joy – I hope that she is so excited for us, and I honestly can’t wait to see her first response to hearing the good news.  Even though I am 12 weeks pregnant now, I have been waiting for the opportunity to tell my Grammy in person about our little munckin on-the-way … and tonight is my first opportunity to do so.  So as we dine tonight at Red Lobster, celebrating the life of my mother, Linda – and cheering her birthday wishes as she consumes lots of lobster … I am totally thrilled to be bringing some news to the table about a new little life that will be making an entrance into the DiBiase household hopefully sometime in October.  (October 4th is my due date, given by my MD – for those who have been wondering)  I will be enjoying chicken tonight, even though I am a devout seafood lover … thinking that it might be best to spare my growing little person all the mercury and other undesirable things that can be found in seafood.  At least John won’t be feeling so alone, as he enjoys his strickly chicken cuisine (because of his strong dislike for seafood).  So, although I feel like I am breaking some kind of rule about eating chicken at Red Lobster … I am planning to break into the conversation with my Grammy about our little person, when she realizes that I am not ordering the “Ultimate Feast!”  I sure hope it goes well.  ;o)